Armed robbers have shot and hacked to death a French couple who were camping in the bush in southeast Nigeria.

A gang of robbers found the couple who was spending the night sleeping in their vehicle about 2km (a mile) from the main road, and shot Denis Dagnan in the leg before killing him with machete blows, police said Thursday.

The victim's wife, Lavaud Liana Dagnan, 53, was unharmed, Ebonyi state police commissioner Maigari Dikko said, adding that the couple came from Villedieu-sur-Indre in central France.

The woman told police the robbers had taken €1,150 (£843.5) and 13,000 Nigerian naira (£42.5, $61).

According to the police commissioner, the wife of the victim who reported the incident to the police division in the area told him through an interpreter that she would be able to identify the people who killed her husband if she saw them.

32 suspects arrested

The couple, who had been on a cross-country African tour, had decided to camp off the road on Monday night after spending the day driving.

They were attacked in their car parked near a quarry in Onicha Local Council at about 8 p.m. that night.

The French Embassy had been informed and police have made 32 random arrests based on information from the community, the police added.

The suspects have already being transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) of the state Police Command for further interrogation and prosecution where necessary, according to local newspaper The Guardian.

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth office strongly advises tourists in Nigeria to take professional security advice, be vigilant at all times and review their security measures regularly.

"Keep others informed of your travel plans and vary your routines. Make sure your accommodation is secure and consider pre-deployment training on travelling under close protection," the foreign office states on its website.